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Old 04-19-2000, 11:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Posts: 42
My 89 300 TE has a problem. When my fuel level gets to around 1/4 of a tank, the engine starts to run funny. The RPM's flucuate wildly, and I have to keep the revs up on the engine to keep it from stalling when I come to a stop. As soon as I fill up, the car behaves normally, with the occasional exception of some hesitation on takeoff. The obvious short term solution is to not let the fuel level go below 1/4 tank, but I'm worried that the problem may grow worse and leave me stranded. My guess would be the fuel pump, but I'm really not sure. Any advice would be appreciated. Oh, the car has 132k miles.

89 300TE
97 E420
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Old 04-19-2000, 11:09 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
If it runs OK when the tank is full, then the pump is probably not the problem. Maybe fuel pickup fell apart. Maybe too much of the wrong kind of pressure in the tank. Check your gas cap gasket. Maybe your fuel gauge is inaccurate. Hesitation on acceleration could be any of a number of things, but if you take that in the context of the 1/4 full argument, then I'd start looking at the tank and it's innards. At least that's what I'd try first. Simple, then complex, then impossible, then sell the car...

Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325

[This message has been edited by jeffsr (edited 04-19-2000).]
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Old 04-20-2000, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 396
I had a problem with my 1988 300TE related to low fuel level. The symptoms were not the same, but here goes. On mine, when the fuel level was low, the engine would stop. If the car sat a minute or two, it would run. If going around a corner, such as a freeway off ramp, the car would stop. Let it sit a minute or so and it would run. The problem turned out to be a broken piece of an internal fuel tank baffle. The tank has a "cup" in the bottom from which the fuel pump takes suction. The returns from the fuel regulating valve on the engine flow to an eductor nozzle in the tank. The eductor nozzle draws fuel from the tank into the "cup". The purpose of the "cup" is to keep adequate fuel at the pump suction during cornering, etc. I removed the fuel gauge sending unit from the tank and peered in. I spotted the broken piece lodged in front of the eductor nozzle. Looking through the fuel in the tank the piece looked a bit like a tiny, beige colored balloon. I fished it out and the problem was resolved. Hope this helps.
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